Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Wooster, OH

  • Published 2021/10/20

There is a whole lot of pluck and charm coloring this Ohio city.

Wooster owes its name to David Wooster, a hero of the American Revolutionary War quoted as a ‘largely forgotten hero of the Revolution.’

But you can be sure there is much to remember in the town that bears his name.

The city has a gathering of historic buildings, a thriving food culture, a shopper’s paradise of boutiques, and a strong manufacturing economy, and that’s only the beginning.

With its rolling parks and hills that anticipate exploring feet and its quaint downtown treasures waiting for discoverers, one is in for a grand time at Wooster, Ohio.

The distinctness of this city’s attractions may surprise you.

Read on for a look at the best things you may find in Wooster, Ohio.

Shop ‘Til You Drop at Downtown Wooster

Night view of Downtown Wooster

User:Lugevas, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Downtown Wooster is a real shopper’s paradise!

It is bursting with boutiques, unusual specialty stores, and fantastic deals and bargains and makes for an enjoyable getaway for the shopping lover.

Just one of these stores is Friendtique, a 10,000-square-foot space full of clothes, decorative trinkets, furniture, and yes, antiques, and all profits from their sales go to good causes – chiefly to the Hospice and Palliative Care of Greater Wayne County.

Downtown Wooster

Rlboyer, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

And then there are Local Roots which has hand-produced items: handcrafted soaps, leather journals, pretty crafts, and locally-grown food items, all helping to support local Ohio artisans and their families.

JK Gift Shop has an irresistible collection of unique and witty finds, homey décor, and comfort gifts to buy as a treat for someone you love.

These are only a few of Wooster’s offerings, and it would be wise to plan a short trip just to shop your heart out downtown!

Have a Family Day at Christmas Run Park

Christmas Run Park is an outdoor facility of endless possibilities, named after the Christmas family, pioneer residents of Wooster.

If you want to take a trek, the park has a scenic bridge crossing a creek and primitive hiking trails that take you into the woods, with the trail designed to be accessible for people with disabilities.

The Kiwanis playground touts unusual features like a zipline, a log slide, and a treehouse with a fireman’s pole, so your children can have a fun and energetic time there.

For your sporty companions who are eager for other vigorous activities, there are many facilities to choose from, namely two sets of tennis courts, two basketball courts, and six pickleball courts.

If you’re thinking of planning an eventful family day, this is just the place to go!

Visit the Seacrest Arboretum

Seacrest Arboretum is a 110-acre outdoor laboratory and landscape garden that promises visitors an educational and aesthetic experience.

It is exceptionally well kept, with variedly colorful themed gardens and greenhouses lush with life, a visual feast for any nature lover.

There are tranquil hills and paved walkways, beautifully designed grounds, and quirkily-shaped benches throughout the arboretum, and of course, 2,500 varieties of plants, both woody and herbaceous.

Seasonal trees and flowers grow and bloom by the season, and as Seacrest Arboretum is open year-round, it always highlights a whole spectrum of growing things.

There are tags, placards, and educational markers displayed everywhere, and you will learn and discover a thing or two about the arboretum’s plant selections.

You can picnic and have contemplative moments in the fresh outdoor grounds while letting your children amuse themselves on the rock fortress playground.

You will leave the arboretum with your senses dazzled afterward.

Seek Some Indoor Entertainment at Acres of Fun

For an adrenaline-fuelled time, Acres of Fun is here for your entertainment!

Engage your friends in laser tag combat, zip around on the go-kart racing track, get pumped roller skating at the Skateland rink, and then cool off by swinging at the mini-golf course or blasting water at the bumper boat area.

Kids can crawl and climb all over the 100 feet of tubes, a ball pit, and a bouncy house at the play zone; challenge themselves in the batting cages; or pick the games they fancy at the arcade.

This haven of fun and games is ideal for folks seeking to have a blast together.

Ice Skating at the Alice Noble Ice Arena

The Alice Noble Ice Arena is a 900-seat multiple-purpose arena in Ohiofeaturing an NHL-worthy ice sheet that measures 200 feet by 85 feet.

This arena is well-beloved and has lately been saved from closing by a massive outpouring of patrons from Wooster, the surrounding areas, and even Canada.

The arena has a Learn to Skate program that helps one build up unique abilities and experiences in figure skating via sensitive instruction.

It also has a Hockey Skills Development Program, a high tempo clinic for the hockey off-season that sharpens skills in ice skating, balance, stride, agility, and puck handling.

And, of course, public skate times are available if you just want to enjoy a spin around the rink.

The owners say they are thrilled to continue to run the arena and preserve an ice culture for the community in Wooster and beyond.

Make Fall Memories at Ramseyer Farms

There is a wide variety of fall-themed fun times to be had at Ramseyer Farms.

There are over 50 fall-themed activities for people of varying ages, so you’ll never run out of time racing, sliding, and riding all over the farms!

Ramseyer Farms has three giant and challenging corn mazes; thousands of pumpkins of varying shapes and sizes; a giant swing and giant rocking chair; wagon trains, hamster wheels, and rat racers; a candy corn peg game; a tractor pull; a tire playground; an obstacle course, and so many more.

It also has a country store where you can pick wares such as pumpkin carvings, corn stalk and straw bale decorations, and jam goodies in jars.

Your fall visit to Wooster will not be complete without a day out at Ramseyer Farms.

Visit the College of Wooster

College of Wooster

Epiglottis /

The College of Wooster offers visitors personalized visits on campus, consisting of a student-led tour, multicultural mingling, and an opportunity to observe classes.

The College of Wooster celebrates diversity a great deal and often holds open houses to foster inclusivity.

Students are encouraged to have plenty of room for blended interests in math, science, and the arts: a multidisciplinary education.

Explore the College of Wooster Art Museum, a catalyst for creativity and visual literacy that contains national and regional exhibitions.

Theater at College of Wooster

Alan Levine from Strawberry, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ohio Light Opera is hosted here and is a professional opera company performing a light opera repertory; American, British, and continental operettas; and musical theatre work from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

With the Opera, you will see an authentic celebration of the operatic tradition and witness one of the lyric theatre genre’s forerunners.

The College is an inviting place that is proud of its distinguished services to the community.

Enrich Yourself at Wayne Center for the Arts

Wayne Center for the Arts always has culturally stimulating arts experiences in store for the public.

It is an organization that promotes open-mindedness and artistic education and strives to inspire people towards creativity in every aspect of life.

Wayne Center for the Arts holds annual exhibitions of the locals’ artwork; encourages students to develop hands-on art skills; has a continually growing dance and music department; and holds numerous classes, special events, and performances throughout the year.

The center also exhibits, hosts, and champions the guilds of local artists, writers, and musicians.

It is the oldest and most extensive visual and performing arts organization in the area and has made art education available in the county for more than 40 years.

The Wooster community has been dedicatedly supportive of this organization for years, holding a deep interest in expanding art opportunities for people.

Check out the center’s official calendar at their website so you don’t miss out on the events and programs that it has to offer.

Commune With the Natural World at Barnes Preserve

Find a flourishing wealth of diverse life at Barnes Preserve.

It holds a 76-acre jewel of habitat diversity and is excellent for the avid appreciator of nature and her wild creatures.

At the Barnes Preserve trail, meander into mature woods with deer, foxes, muskrats, and more wildlife and find an overlook with a wetland pond teeming alive with frogs, turtles, and other aquatic creatures.

Pass through a lush meadow with birds flying around flowering plants and monarch butterflies lighting upon milkweed.

Then go and see a kaleidoscope of other butterflies and pollinators at Barnes Preserve’s restored rolling prairie.

If you are a bird-lover, you’re in luck as there are 70 reported species seen year-round at the preserve, including flycatchers, vireos, sparrows, and more common open-field and woodland birds.

Barnes Preserve is fully accessible and ideal for walking, recreational hiking, and biking so that you will be receiving a measure of exercise along with an up-close and personal sight of the natural world.

Relax at Blue Barn Winery

This aptly-colored barn and homestead in the rolling hills south of Wooster has Civil War-era historical roots and underwent restoration to yield a beautiful winery.

Outside, grab some quiet peace while looking out at the rolling lawns and the peaceful vistas of the surrounding land.

You can relax to golden oldies and rock-and-roll music on the patio, and on many a Saturday night, you can even catch live performances from some of the best bands in Ohio.

Inside, travel back through the ages as you view the craftsmanship of the rustically restored spaces with cozy furniture, French and Italian doors, and eclectic primitive artifacts and tools: a perfect spot to unwind with a glass of wine and intimate chats with friends.

For events, one can rent one of two private rooms for small groups of people or an elegant upstairs Hayloft room that can seat up to a hundred.

Blue Barn Winery serves semi-dry red and white wine as well as sweet red and white wines from select California-grown vinifera grapes handcrafted, pressed, and fermented on their farm.

It is well worth checking out for wine lovers and anyone wanting a blissful sit-down away from home.

Learn Something New at the Buckeye Agricultural Museum and Education Center

This museum is the premier historical spot to learn about the Ohio agrarian heritage from 1800 to World War II.

Come and view objects, photographs, and various technologies that tell the story of Ohio’s agricultural scene: the advancement of farm equipment, the evolution from wilderness to tilled fields, the changing roles of farming families, the shifting face of farm architecture, and the preservation of farm relics from centuries past.

Here you will see relics such as one of Ohio’s oldest barns, which the museum reassembled piece by piece, log by log, and beam by beam inside its gallery space.

More things to see are a covered Conestoga wagon, a Weimer-Gertenslager buggy, a one-horse power treadmill, a broom maker’s bench, a railroad freight cart, and other preserved equipment and tools.

Buckeye Agricultural Museum and Education Center is open on the second Saturday of every month, so book a spot at their website if you want to be witness to this ever-growing collection of educational history.

Go on a Hiking Spree at Wooster Memorial Park

Wooster Memorial Park

Charles Carper from Chicago, U.S.A., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You may find Wooster Memorial Park, also known as Spangler Park, five miles west of town.

There are 320 acres of untouched woodland and scenic overlooks in the park, with over six miles of primitive trails for you to hike.

Be sure to stay mindful of steep ravines in the area.

Flower at Wooster Memorial Park

Wilson44691, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Embark on a scenic hike at Rathburn Run, discover the geologic history of the ages-old gorge, and splash in the creek, which has carved out a splendid valley over the land.

You can also go on themed hikes for a group’s collective enjoyment or picnic together and take it easy at the pavilions around the park.

Wooster Memorial Park is a foot-traffic-only area, so make sure to wear your best hiking shoes when you venture out there.

Go for a Thrilling Ride at Vulture’s Knob Mountain Bike Park

If you’re raring for an outdoor adrenaline rush, Vulture’s Knob Mountain Bike Park might be what you seek!

Biking enthusiasts consider this park ‘the most unusual technical singletrack in Ohio’ with 7.5 plus miles of challenging trails and an intriguing mix of modern design concepts and old-school features.

If you love biking, you will have a great time coursing its unique outdoor trails with quirky names such as ‘Rock Tunnel,’ ‘Ant City,’ ‘Fern Gully,’ ‘Oh Sh**, and ‘Friar Brian’s Forest,’ giving you choose-your-own-adventure type hints on what obstacles you’re going to face.

Just keep the rules and safety measures in mind and remember courtesy toward fellow riders, and you’re good to go.

The venue has hosted some very epic races and has plenty of thrill rides in store for all adventure-loving bikers, so if it sounds right up your alley, go and have a ride.

Appreciate Pine Tree Barn’s Beauty

Pine Tree Barn began its life as one of Ohio’s plantation-style Christmas tree farms called ‘Yuletide Tree Farms’ that made for a thriving business.

It officially opened as ‘Pine Tree Barn’ in 1980, now as a year-round retail shop conceptualized around selling more than just Christmas items.

You can scout for high-quality home furnishings at their Pine Tree Interior, which has lovely lines of 18th-century furniture, 18th-century accessories, and elegant home fixtures and upholstery.

Their gift shop is three levels of creaky plank floors bursting with odds and ends — artwork, jewelry, candles, puzzles, clothing, greeting cards, dishware, and a lot more.

No matter what time of the year it is, you will find delights at their year-round Christmas shop with its delicate decorations, Nutcrackers, and ornaments.

Christmas trees are available starting the first weekend of November, and you may contact the farm for details in advance if you’re interested.

Pine Tree Barn is here to give you your perfect Christmas tree: you can test it for freshness and greenness, shake it off to shed brown needles, and finally cut down the tree yourself to take home and decorate.

Before leaving Pine Tree Barn, you can have a tasty Ohioan gourmet meal at the restaurant while cooling out on the deck and looking out at a marvelous valley view.

Take a Grand Wooster Food Journey

Your wanderings through Wooster will surely stoke your cravings for delicious repasts in the area.

Among other acclaims, Wooster has a reputation as a great culinary destination.

There are bakeries with arrays of jewel-like sweets and cakes like those sold at The Faithful Little Cupcake.

Stop by food stores such as JM Smucker Company Store & Café for mocktails, cocktails, beverages, and piping hot apple cider.

There are lauded places such as City Square Steakhouse, the earner of the title ‘2014 Best Steakhouse in America’, where you can have a delicious award-worthy meal or favorite artisan spots like Broken Rocks for creamy and hearty concoctions.

Go by favorite hangouts such as Spoon Market & Deli, which serves eclectic appetizer sandwiches; the Dutch Kitchen bakery, which offers pastries and a full buffet; or Basil Asian Bistro, which has Southeast Asian and Pacific cuisine on the menu.

You can discover all this and more at downtown Wooster: a perfect food combination as the finishing touch to a long day of adventures.

Final Thoughts

Wooster is a fitting city for anyone who has motley longings for diverse yet unfulfilled experiences.

If you’re keen on finding a place to make indelible memories; if you’re looking for outdoor escapades; if you want to hunt for hidden treasure troves; or if you crave some artistic and cultural sustenance, Wooster is waiting for you!

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